Class Claims Allstate Skirts Law

     PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A federal class action claims Allstate unfairly denies coverage to people hurt in auto accidents "because they could not produce a disinterested witness to verify the facts" of the accidents.
     Lead plaintiff Susan Pilidis claims that creates an impossibly high hurdle for injured policyholders.
     Pilidis claims Allstate rejected her claim for damages from an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, though she was covered under Allstate's Uninsured Motorist plan.
     The policy requires that the damages be caused by contact between the vehicles or that there be a "disinterested witness" to corroborate the claim, according to the lawsuit.
     Pilidis, who veered away from the speeding driver while both were driving on an icy country road in Pennsylvania with no witnesses, says she suffered a severe concussion when her car flipped. No contact between vehicles was made.
     Pilidis claims that in 1992, a trial court ruled that a driver who swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle was entitled to present the facts of his case regardless of a lack of corroboration or vehicle contact, and ordered that Allstate change its policy, which it did not do.
     Allstate continues to issue the stipulations in its policy "in knowing violation of state law," Pilidis claims, and is "wrongfully and wantonly selling UM policies that provided less coverage than required by law."
     She seeks declaratory judgment and damages for breach of contract, bad faith, consumer law violations, and unfair trade.
     She is represented by Kohn Swift & Graf, of Philadelphia.